UQ CI promotes Chinese language proficiency through writing contest

15 November 2018

Recent results from The University of Queensland’s annual Chinese Writing Contest show the value of Chinese language learning in Queensland schools has steadily increased over the years.

From humble beginnings in 1995, this year’s event, run by UQ’s School of Languages, saw 169 students apply from 43 primary and secondary schools around the state.

Event organiser Melody Chang said both the quality and quantity of this year’s entries was impressive.

“Entries were up this year, with more schools valuing this engagement activity encouraging students’ Chinese language learning,” she said.

Ms Chang said the quality of entries had also increased.

“The students’ writing skills have demonstrated that teaching and learning of Chinese language has been greatly valued and emphasised in local schools’ curriculum.”

Open to all Queensland schools that teach Chinese language, this event aims to promote Chinese language learning in schools and increase interest amongst students who might consider continuing Chinese learning at UQ.

“We would also like to engage with local schools by providing this activity as a community contribution,” Ms Chang said.

Teachers of Chinese in UQ’s School of Languages set the writing tasks for the contest and the final judging is undertaken by a panel of three Chinese language teachers from the School.

UQ’s Confucius Institute is also involved, and has been sponsoring the event every year since 2010 – including the financial support of prizes and marking cost.

Confucius Institute Director Professor Ping Chen recalls presenting certificates to winners in South Bank in his role as coordinator of the event in the mid-90s.

“Dr Carl Hinze, a graduate from our BA in Chinese who went on to be awarded his doctorate in Chinese studies under my supervision, received an award in the Chinese Writing Contest as a high school student.

“Fast forward 10 years and he is now a successful senior lawyer and a partner of an international law firm based in Brisbane and on the BA Advisory Board,” Professor Chen said.

The contest was held last month with eight categories catering for different year levels and language backgrounds – including native and non-native speakers of Chinese.

Supreme Awards went to Vi Pham from Indooroopilly State School and Selina Wang from St Aidan’s Anglicans Girl School.